Former editor-in-chief of the Nexta Telegram channel Roman Protasevich, who was sentenced to 8 years in prison in Belarus, has been pardoned, Belta writes .
“Literally, I just signed all the relevant documents stating that I was pardoned. This, of course, is just great news, ”Protasevich told reporters.
Earlier, the Minsk Regional Court found him guilty of "conspiracy to seize state power in Belarus in an unconstitutional way."
Protasevich was under investigation along with his Russian girlfriend Sofya Sapega after they were removed from the Athens-Vilnius flight on May 23, 2021, on the orders of Alexander Lukashenko. A fighter jet was raised into the sky to escort the passenger aircraft.
Protasevich was accused of inciting social hatred, organizing riots and organizing actions that grossly violate public order. Sapieha was charged with inciting social hatred, as well as participating in riots. The couple began to cooperate with the investigation and was released under house arrest. After that, Roman Protasevich repeatedly appeared in the state media of Belarus. On the air of the ONT TV channel, he said that he respects Alexander Lukashenko and considers him "a man with balls of steel."
Sapega was sentenced to 6 years in prison on charges of illegally collecting and disseminating "information about private life constituting the personal and family secrets of another person, without his consent, which caused harm to the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of the victim." According to the prosecution, Sapieha was involved in the administration of the Black Book of Belarus, a Telegram channel that published the personal data of security officials involved in bullying protesters. In April 2023, she was allowed to be transferred to Russia.